We all know that wire fraud schemes plague the real estate industry. But, this successful scheme resulted in the prospective buyer’s (May Wang) initial loss of over $400,000, and inability to purchase the San Jose, California property.
On April 9, 2018, someone sent an email to Mrs. Wang’s real estate broker purporting to be from the escrow company. The email asked for the buyer’s email address, which the broker provided. The person then sent false wiring instructions to Mrs. Wang by email by purporting to be the escrow officer.
Believing the email to be genuine and the instructions to, in fact, be the instructions of the actual escrow officer, Mrs. Wang honored the instructions. On April 10, 2018, Mrs. Wang provided wiring instructions to her bank, Wells Fargo, to wire $407,014.09 to the account name and number provided to her. The entire amount was wired to Bank of America.
Mrs. Wang signed the closing documents for the purchase of the property. Soon afterwards, the real escrow company confirmed that the payment of $407,014.09 was never received. Mrs. Wang then discovered that her money had been wired to a fraudulent account.
Mrs. Wang reported the fraudulent scheme to Wells Fargo who, in turn, reported it to Bank of America. Bank of America has returned a total of $56,362.23 to Mrs. Wang.
On July 3, 2018, GED, on behalf of Mrs. Wang, filed a lawsuit against her broker and Bank of America as a result of the loss.
Mrs. Wang was interviewed by NBC due to the extraordinarily large amount of money lost: https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Experts-Virtually-All-CA-Real-Estate-Transactions-Targeted-By-Hackers-487165181.html While she initially did not disclose her identity, Mrs. Wang has since decided to disclose it to prevent others from succumbing to the same scheme.
Questions regarding the case should be directed to partner and lead counsel Joshua Borger.